Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Being Human"

In McLeod people often wear a t-shirt that says "Being Human". Initially I didn't have a clue what the shirt was talking about and finally attributed the phrase to some sketchy English skills. However after spending half the day with one of the Tibetan directors I feel as though this phrase is beginning to make sense.

It began when this director and I stood together for an hour waiting for the Dali Lama to drive by, while waiting he taught me about "being human". This man is educated with two masters and is currently working on his PHD, but he told me that every time he goes to one of the 13 schools under his jurisdiction that he goes in as a human being, not as the Director.

As I listened to his teaching and leadership styles I was impressed by how naturally he put himself on the same level as those he was teaching. Actually it wasn't that he was stepping down to their level, but helping them to get up to his. He taught me to think deeper - to see the human qualities belonging to all of us and gradually he helped me to understand on a higher level. I got the feeling that first and foremost, he was trying to be the best human he could be, and that is what made him a better husband, father, and director.

Later as I thought about the this conversation I was reminded of "being human". I think I might buy one of those shirts now, if only to remind me what it means to be human.


  1. Is that what the shirt means though, or does it mean something else? I've been wanting to ask somebody about that too, but I don't know who to ask...

    ok, I did a little looking around in case you're interested. Here is the website:

    It took me a while looking around the site to find out what the organization actually is. (the website itself kind of seems more like a fan page for Salman Khan). Anyway, I found a video which says "The Being Human Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization, started by Bollywood superstar, Salman Khan. The foundation works towards helping people in need"
    Pretty vague, I know, but then a little further into the video you get Salman Khan's definition of "Being Human". He says, "Being human for me is... being human. We all are human beings..we don't do anything human to be human so you have to do something. God gives you so much and you know eventually you need to start giving it back." So I guess that's what it means to the guy who created the slogan. Again, it seems a little vague to me. It's valid, and I agree that we do receive so much from God and that we should give back, but I feel like your definition and understanding of the phrase is deeper and makes more sense. I don't know, maybe they kind of go together.

  2. Nice insight. I was wondering about those shirts myself. That is one thing I love about being here. While there are so many differences between us, there is so many similarities to celebrate.

  3. I had never heard this saying before. I don’t know much about Tibetan culture, but I am rather impressed by their philosophy; how everyone can be viewed as an equal. Even through their religion is Buddhist I have discovered that there are similarities between Buddhism and Christianity; being that in Christianity we are all equal before God and will be judged according to how we have acted. Whereas Buddhist believe in Karma, that there is a consequence for every action. There are probably other similarities these are just a few that I can think of.